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How to Break a Car Lease

Get out of your lease without getting socked with hefty termination fees and penalties.


  • Step 1: Visit lease trading web sites Visit lease trading web sites that will post an ad for your car and facilitate transactions at a fee that’s less than termination penalties.
  • TIP: Some financial service companies won’t allow lease trading. Read your lease contract for such clauses.
  • Step 2: Negotiate with the lessor Negotiate with the finance company for an early termination settlement without penalties.
  • Step 3: Negotiate with your dealership Negotiate with your dealer for early termination in exchange for buying or leasing another vehicle from the same dealer.
  • TIP: If you opt for a lease rollover, you may still be liable for old lease payments plus your new lease payments.
  • Step 4: Check state law for car lease lemon laws Check state law for car lease lemon laws. If you can prove with credible documentation you leased a lemon, you may be able to get out of your lease early without penalties and with reimbursement.
  • Step 5: Buy the car before the end of the lease Buy the car before the end of the lease and then sell it. Find your car's market value on the internet.
  • Step 6: Request a voluntary repossession from the lessor Request that the lessor repossess your vehicle. While voluntary repossession can save you money in early termination fees and penalties, it will negatively affect your credit.
  • FACT: It’s harder to get credit approval to lease a vehicle than to buy a vehicle.

You Will Need

  • A computer with internet access
  • A car lease contract
  • Negotiation skills

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